Gaming and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International has announced the acceptance of its public tender offer for the shares of Stockholm-listed LeoVegas. The proposal was greenlighted by 96% of shareholders of the Swedish iGaming business, at a price of SEK 61.00 in cash per share, equivalent to a total tender value of approximately $604 million. Settlement of the shares is expected to be initiated on or around September 7, 2022.
"The completion of this transaction represents a major milestone for MGM Resorts as we continue to pursue our strategy of growing our online gaming footprint worldwide," said MGM Resorts' CEO & President Bill Hornbuckle. "We look forward to welcoming the LeoVegas team and are excited to begin working with them to grow our global digital gaming business and maximize the full potential of our omnichannel strategy."
"Joining forces with MGM Resorts is a major win for LeoVegas and we're excited to begin working with our new teammates to build upon the work we've done over the last 10 years," said LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman. "MGM Resorts is a premier gaming entertainment company and we look forward to leveraging their expertise to further our long-term strategic goals."
LeoVegas' Gustaf Hagman
Founded in 2011 by Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson, LeoVegas is a global online gaming company with licenses in nine jurisdictions, primarily in the Nordics and rest of Europe. LeoVegas generated EUR 394 million ($392.1 million) in revenue and EUR 46 million ($458 million) in Adjusted EBITDA during the twelve months ended June 30. The business is headquartered in Stockholm, with major offices in Malta, United Kingdom and Milan.
“MGM Resorts believes the acquisition of LeoVegas will provide a unique opportunity for the company to create a scaled global online gaming business,” the company said in a press release. The US casino giant said it sees strategic opportunities to accelerate growth and product offering, with LeoVegas' online casino and sports betting capabilities -and strong customer base outside of North America- expected to further expand MGM Resorts' presence around the world.
Another key attribute MGM sees in this opportunity is the addition of an experienced online gaming management team and superior technology capabilities, including LeoVegas’ robust and scalable tech platform and advanced product offering. Additionally, the company finds in LeoVegas a commitment to continued profitable growth, with the Swedish business having operated profitably as a high-growth platform since 2014.
“From 2017 to 2021, LeoVegas' revenues compounded annual growth rate was 16%, while maintaining strong profitability,” the US casino heavyweight noted. “MGM Resorts' scale, brands and expertise will allow the combined businesses to expand within existing gaming segments and provide incremental opportunities to enter new areas.”
MGM first announced the receipt of all necessary governmental and regulatory clearances for the acquisition last month. The proposed takeover, first announced in May, was unanimously commended by LeoVegas’ board of directors. LeoVegas operates a number of brands, including leovegas.com, slotboss.co.uk, pinkcasino.co.uk, betuk.com, and 21.co.uk, among others.
“Our vision is to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company, and this strategic opportunity with LeoVegas will allow us to continue to grow our reach throughout the world,” Hornbuckle said back in May, at the time of the original announcement. “We have achieved remarkable success with BetMGM in the US, and with the acquisition of LeoVegas in Europe we will expand our online gaming presence globally.”
MGM’s joint venture with Entain for the iGaming space, BetMGM, has taken a major role in the US online casino market, with a share of about 30% in the markets where it operates. And last month, MGM as a whole reported a 54% year-on-year rise in group-wide revenue for H1.
Hornbuckle, speaking with investors about the result, hinted that MGM would seek to expand into new territories following the completion of the LeoVegas deal. By acquiring LeoVegas, MGM would add a familiar name to the European iGaming market.